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The student news site of University of North Dakota

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UND Survives Upset Bid

UND+Survives+Upset+Bid
Garrett Webber

Students who chose to enter the UND hockey game early this past Saturday had to wait an extra 15 minutes for the opening puck drop due to a barn burner at the Alerus Center.  

The UND Football team squared off with the Indiana State Sycamores on October 28th in Missouri Valley Football Conference play. The Sycamores entered the game 0-7. 

After the two sides traded punts, the Hawks marched down the field and found themselves in a goal-to-go situation. On 4th and goal, UND ran a fake punt for quarterback Simon Romfo. Romfo was merely feet away from scoring when he fumbled into the endzone, which by rule gave the Sycamores the ball on a Turnover on Downs.  

In the 2nd quarter, Indiana State was able to put together a 12-play, 78-yard touchdown drive to earn a 7-0 lead.  

With under four minutes left in the half, UND needed a score going into the break. The Fighting Hawks offense, with the help of great field position from their defense, scored on a magical Tommy Schuster (Sr.) pass to Isaiah Smith (Jr.). 

Indiana State would be the first team on the board in the second half, kicking a field goal to gain a 10-7 lead. 

Following the field goal, the Fighting Hawks put together two touchdown drives, both ending in Bo Belquist (Sr.) touchdown catches to create some breathing room.  

That breathing room would not last long, as the final 7 minutes of the 4th quarter saw 5 total scoring drives. 

After a Tommy Schuster pass was tipped and intercepted, the Sycamores had the ball on the UND 39. ISU scored on their first play, with a 39-yard run up the sideline. The Sycamores failed the two-point conversion and trailed 21-16. 

On the first play of the ensuing UND drive, Smith took a carry 71-yards to the ISU 4-yard line. Smith would score two plays later a 3-yard touchdown run. The Hawks turned at a two-point conversion failed, and UND led 27-16. 

After a big 22-yard reception to start the Sycamore drive, quarterback Elijah Owens connected with Dakota Caton for a 50-yard touchdown pass the very next play. The two-point conversion failed yet again, and the Sycamores trailed 27-22. 

Needing a sustained drive to put the game on ice, the Hawks were forced to punt back to Indiana State. 

The Sycamores took the opportunity and went 75-yards in 7 plays and 54 seconds, scoring a touchdown with under a minute to play. After a successful two-point conversion, Indiana State looked primed for an upset, leading 30-27. 

With his back against the wall, Schuster orchestrated a two-minute drill of his own. The Hawks went 60-yards in the time remaining and brought out CJ Elrichs (Rs. Fr.) for the game tying field goal. Elrichs drilled the kick to tie the game at 30 a piece, giving the Hawks a chance at overtime. 

The Sycamores got the ball first in the extra period and elected to kick a field goal on 4th and 6 to lead 33-30. 

At this point in overtime, a touchdown wins the game for the Fighting Hawks, and Quincy Vaughn (Sr.) would deliver. 

The Hawks sat at the ISU 15 on a 1st and 10. Schuster sent Belquist in motion, clearing out the right side of the field. Vaughn ran a corner route and found himself wide open for the game winning score. The Fighting Hawks defeated the Sycamores 36-33 in overtime. 

Schuster threw 34 passes, completing 25 of them for 243-yards. Schuster had 4 touchdown passes and 1 interception. 

Smith led the UND backfield with 109-yards rushing on 11 carries with a score. Luke Skokna added 50-yards on the ground on 13 carries. 

Belquist hauled in 7 receptions for 109-yards and 2 touchdowns. Smith had 5 catches out of the backfield for 45-yards, Elijah Klein and Caden Dennis had 2 catches for 35-yards a piece. Vaughn had 2 receptions and the game-winning touchdown. 

With the win, North Dakota moves to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in MVFC play. The Fighting Hawks will travel to Murray, Kentucky next week to line up against the Murray State Racers (2-6, 1-4). 

 

Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] 

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